News

DPP withdraws bribery case against Bruce Bicknell

To proceed with prosecution of MP Daryl Vaz

BY PAUL HENRY Co-ordinator - Crime/Court Desk henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, July 10, 2014    

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DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn has withdrawn the bribery case against businessman Bruce Bicknell.

At the same time, the DPP will be proceeding with the prosecution of West Portland MP Daryl Vaz on corruption charges that stemmed from the alleged bribery of a police officer by Bicknell in relation to a traffic ticket he had been issued for speeding in 2012.

Lawyers for both men had written to the DPP asking for her to drop the case against their clients in light of evidence by Sgt Jubert Llewellyn that he wasn't certain if Bicknell had tried to bribe him.

Llewellyn gave the evidence during trial of Bicknell and Senior Superintendent James Forbes on a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Bicknell was freed on a no-case submission earlier this year and Forbes convicted in May and fined $800,000. Forbes is now appealing his conviction and sentence.

The lawyers for Forbes had asked that the bribery case be tried before his, given the fact that the other charges stemmed from that one, but the request was refused.

Some lawyers said that it was an unprecedented move to try Forbes before the bribery matter was heard and questioned the DPP's motive for doing so.

Regarding the letters to the DPP from Vaz and Bicknell, a response was made on Friday, the Jamaica Observer was told.

The DPP, in withdrawing the case against Bicknell, reportedly wrote that Sgt Llewellyn had credibility issues arising from his evidence that he wasn't certain that he was being bribed by Bicknell.

As it relates to Vaz, the DPP reportedly wrote that the magistrate had to decide on Llewellyn's credibility on whether or not Vaz promised him a promotion to drop the bribery case against Bicknell.

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